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Cost of private Covid jabs risks widening health inequalities, experts warn

Experts and patient groups have warned that the high cost of private Covid vaccinations could exacerbate health inequalities and leave those more at risk from the virus without a vital line of defence.

Both high street chain Boots and pharmacies that partner with the company Pharmadoctor are now offering Covid jabs to those not eligible for a free vaccination through the NHS, with the former charging almost £100 for the Pfizer/BioNTech jab.

While Pharmadoctor says each pharmacy sets its own prices, it suggests the Pfizer/BioNTech jab will set customers back £75-£85, while the latest Novavax jab will cost about £45-£55.

However experts have raised concerns that the high cost of the private jabs will widen inequalities, with the vaccinations unaffordable for many.

“The most disadvantaged in society are most likely to be exposed to respiratory viruses due to things like poverty, intergenerational households and crowded workplaces. While they might be most in need of a seasonal vaccine, they will also be the least likely to afford £100 in the midst of a cost of living crisis,” said Dr Marija Pantelic, of the University of Sussex.

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Source: The Guardian, 28 March 2024


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